In general, I think Texan fans are excited for the upcoming 2012 season, but that has more to do with how strong the team looked in 2011 than the collective offseason efforts of the front office. In fact, the offseason has been littered with far more bad news than good, highlighted (or lowlighted, as it were) by the departures of fixtures like DeMeco Ryans, Mario Williams, Eric Winston, Mike Brisiel and Joel Dreessen.
So when we get a little bid of good news, we should celebrate it. And this week we got some good news!
Running back Arian Foster, whose signing was one of a few bright spots this offseason (the signing of Chris Myers and the addition of Wade Phillips to Twitter being the others), had been chosen as the Texans' representative in the surprisingly enthralling, now-annual bracket-style elimination vote for the cover spot on the Madden video game.
And when I say "openly campaigning," I mean a viral video campaign that included stuffed ducks...
...direct mentions of Tim Tebow (who Foster somewhat miraculously smoked in round one of the vote)....
....and an old school, grass roots, "takin' it to the streets" appeal to the greater Manhattan area...
Foster chased the Madden cover dream despite the overwhelming mountain of evidence that would seem to indicate that cover boy status should come with crutches, a decent therapist or a good attorney. Or in the case of last year's surprise winner, former Browns running back Peyton Hillis, all three.
Foster argued with Texan fans on Twitter (fans who were presumably looking out for his own good and/or making sure their season tickets maintained decent scalp-able value) that superstitions are stupid and that he would be the one to "#ReverseTheCurse." Thankfully, Texan faithful, we won't have to find out if the irresistible force of Foster could vanquish the immovable object that is the Madden Curse, as in the second round of the bracket-style elimination, Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson took Foster to the woodshed to the tune of a 73-27 split in the percentage of the vote.
Now we can turn our attention to which teams we should mess with in the Elite Eight round of the voting. Keep in mind a vote in favor of a player being on the cover means you're in essence wishing ill will on that player so that it makes it easier for the Texans to accomplish their goals this season, which looks like this:
Panthers QB Cam Newton vs Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald The Texans don't play either team, so I'll give my vote to Newton, mainly because he will be the consensus number one pick in every fantasy draft and since I am never lucky enough to end up with the first pick, an injury to Newton will torpedo one of my fantasy foes and mean one less team I need to worry about in my league.
49ers LB Patrick Willis vs Giants WR Victor Cruz Again, two teams the Texans don't play, so I'll drop my vote on Cruz using the oft-invoked "New York" clause, whereby anytime we can do a little bit to make bad things happen to New York teams, we are required as citizens of Texas to do so.
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers vs Ravens RB Ray Rice Easy one. Texans play the Ravens this season, so Mr. Rice, you get my vote!
Lions WR Calvin Johnson vs Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski Finally, a matchup where the Texans play both teams next season. I'll vote for Megatron on the simple belief that a Johnson-less Lions offense is less dangerous than a Gronk-less Pats offense, although the temptation of Gronkowski on injured reserve with a ton of spare time on his hands is most enticing.
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Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. weekdays, and watch the simulcast on Comcast 129 from 6 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.